Georgia Tech Among Early Leaders in Solar Decathlon

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Icarus, the home designed and built by Georgia Tech for the Solar Decathlon competition is standing out among 19 other ultra energy-efficient homes. Capturing fourth place in the architecture category and fifth in communications, the team is in second place overall as of Tuesday evening.

We should all be proud with this strong first showing, and we are confident we will continue to improve our score," said Franca Trubiano, project manager for the Georgia Tech Solar Decathlon Team and Assistant Professor in the College of Architecture. "The spread between leading contenders is very minimal - the anticipation and excitement here is extraordinary.

According to Jury Chair Greg Kiss, judges were impressed by the aspects of vegetation, regionalism, modularity and innovation found in many houses. Georgia Tech was identified in having excelled in architectural innovation, the quality of our working drawings and for the overall sense of beauty and delight offered by Icarus.

The competition began Saturday and consists of ten categories. As teams are scored throughout the week, students, faculty and staff on campus are rooting for Icarus and monitoring online standings which are updated periodically. The latest scores and standings are posted at

The competition has transformed the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to a "solar village" where the public is invited to tour the homes to learn simple ways to become more energy efficient. Georgia Tech Solar Decathletes have led thousands of visitors on tours to showcase Icarus--the product of intense interdisciplinary teamwork by more than 100 dedicated students and faculty.

Decathlete and Masters-level architecture student Jodi Bell-Quinn, who procured and coordinated interior materials, says involvement in the Solar Decathlon has provided "real" design and construction experience. "This experience is unique because it involves the newest technologies, materials and construction processes," says Bell-Quinn. "This project is teaching us not only how to build, but how to develop a feasible building solution when standard building practices do not apply.

The College of Architecture has led the collaboration, pulling together Georgia Tech expertise in the College of Engineering, College of Management and College of Sciences, as well as numerous research centers.

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